What are the Benefits of a Low-Purine Diet for Gout?

Haven Esme

Gout is a painful arthritic condition that primarily affects the big toe, but a low-purine diet for gout can help. Gout can also affect the ankles, insteps, heels, wrists, fingers, knees, and elbows. Common symptoms of gout include pain, swelling, heat, redness, and stiffness.

Many types of meat, especially those high in fat, can contribute to gout.
Many types of meat, especially those high in fat, can contribute to gout.

Gout occurs when there is an overabundance of uric acid in the body. Foods high in uric acid can attribute to gout, and many sufferers follow a low-purine diet for gout to eliminate foods with high uric acid levels. Food sources high in purines include liver, kidney, poultry, lamb, pork and fish. Canned seafood is also incredibly high in purine content and can aggravate gout. Seafood such as anchovies, mackerel, sardines, herring and shrimp must be eliminated in a low-purine diet.

Gout attacks typically affect a person's big toe.
Gout attacks typically affect a person's big toe.

In a low-purine diet, alcohol is also eliminated. Foods that should be used in moderation when maintaining a low-purine diet for gout include vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms and green peas, lentils, and dried beans and peas. Gout also increases the risk of heart disease so fatty foods such also are eliminated.

Gout sufferers should drink at least 10 glasses of water per day to flush out uric acid.
Gout sufferers should drink at least 10 glasses of water per day to flush out uric acid.

Gout sufferers should also drink plenty of water because a high fluid intake helps to dilute the uric acid that triggers gout. Gout sufferers should drink more than the normal amount of liquid each day. Typically, eight daily glasses of water is the usual recommendation, but individuals with gout should drink at least 10 to 12 glasses each day to help their bodies get rid of excess uric acid.

Peas should be eaten in moderation when following a low-purine diet for gout.
Peas should be eaten in moderation when following a low-purine diet for gout.

Another benefit of a low-purine diet for gout is that it can help an individual lose weight. Gout sufferers must also be careful to maintain a healthy weight, as there is a direct link between obesity and gout. It’s vital to lose excess body weight to reduce the likelihood of gout attacks.

Many different types of seafood must be eliminated in a low-purine diet.
Many different types of seafood must be eliminated in a low-purine diet.

In addition to a low-purine diet, gout can also be treated through several medications. Common medicines used to treat the condition include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, and corticosteroids. Doctors who want to prevent future attacks may also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Researchers are always searching for new medicines and therapies to better manage the condition.

Sardines, because they are a source of purines, can aggravate gout.
Sardines, because they are a source of purines, can aggravate gout.

Individuals with gout should consult a physician or dietitian before placing themselves on a low-purine diet. There are dietitians and nutritionists who work with people who have gout. These professionals can help a person tailor a healthy low purine diet that will treat their condition.

Fatty foods should be avoided on a low-purine diet, since gout can increase the risk of heart disease.
Fatty foods should be avoided on a low-purine diet, since gout can increase the risk of heart disease.

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